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Free Laser Eye Surgery Gifted to NHS Fife Worker

"I was bullied for wearing glasses"

Jill, a financial administrator for NHS Fife, battled with extremely poor vision until receiving free laser eye surgery from Optical Express.

44-year-old Jill, who resides in Lower Largo, has relied on prescription glasses since being 10 years old. Her eyesight got progressively worse until it reached an extremely strong prescription of -8 in both eyes.

Throughout her childhood and adolescence, Jill was bullied for wearing glasses, making her education extremely difficult. The bullying extended into her teenage years, a period which already brings a number of challenges.

Jill was extremely vulnerable as a teenager because without her glasses, she was unable to see the numbers on the school bus or the signs on the street.

Having to wear glasses also massively reduced her quality of life and often forced her to stay at home. Glasses gave her restricted low light vision, therefore, the poorly lit roads in Lower Largo made it very hard for her to drive at night.

Jill’s career as a financial administrator for NHS Fife sees her working with numbers and looking at computer screens all day. Her job requires precision and intense concentration which were significantly affected by her need to wear glasses.

Jill was first prescribed hard contact lenses but due to irritated and dry eyes, they weren’t an option for her. On one occasion, Jill ended up in A&E due to the lenses becoming stuck in her eyes and needing to be removed by a medical professional.

As her sight got worse, the availability of prescriptions decreased, and she would be forced to compromise on her vision. Her -8 prescription meant that even the strongest lenses couldn’t facilitate the complexity of her needs and left her still slightly impaired.

Poor vision left her feeling isolated and helpless until she applied for the Optical Express Thanks a Million campaign which has been rewarding NHS and emergency service workers in the UK since 2017 with free laser eye surgery.

Following her successful application, Jill is no longer reliant on glasses to see. Commenting on her new 20:20 vision, Jill said: “My eyesight is even better than when I was wearing glasses and I didn’t think that would ever be possible. I’m eternally grateful for laser eye surgery and the freedom it has now given me. I have newfound confidence on the road, I feel comfortable going out at night and can finally look in the mirror without seeing myself in glasses.”

Following a survey of members of the British public, the Optical Express Thanks a Million campaign rewarded free laser eye surgery to deserving members of the NHS and emergency service workers because the results showed that they are the most deserving of thanks.

Since having the surgery, Jill is also able to take her two young children swimming and enjoy outdoor activity without the stress of managing her vision.

David Moulsdale, Optical Express, Chairman and CEO said: “As part of our Thanks a Million campaign, since 2017 we’ve given away over £1M worth of free eye surgery to those who deserve thanks most in the UK –  our NHS and emergency services. With recent times they’ve shown this to be the case even more and we hope that with the success of this campaign we’ll be able to thank more people in the future, in the way that only we can do. The individual stories that have come out of the surgery have been heart warming to hear. Jill’s story touched our hearts, her hard work for the NHS deserves rewarding and we’re thrilled that we were able to offer her this life-changing treatment.” 

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